Learn traditional music from the roots up
By Jude Toyat
With so many young musicians today trying to modernise or put their own spin on traditional music, it has become increasingly important to keep authentic and time-honoured music alive for generations to come.
“In Gambia, where my family is from, we have this really big problem in the country where a lot of the younger ones are not taking the traditional measures and not learning the original culture anymore,” said performer Sona Jobarteh at a press conference held at Damai Beach Resort on August 7.
“The social structures where music has always been taught in families and communities has changed so much due to mass media and pop culture, resulting in younger generations becoming drawn towards contemporary music and believihng that it is the only way for them to succeed in the industry.”
She added that the Rainforest World Music Festival is a good platform to showcase traditional music from around the world to ensure that people can still stick to the traditions and music and learn so much from demonstration rather than talking.
“People always ask me why I would choose to play traditional instruments and do world music so the fact that I am doing this is enough of an inspiration for people to try and maintain their traditions.”
She also believed that the education system played a vital role in supporting musical traditions.
“I also think that it is good if we can set up institutions in countries that can actually value cultural and traditional music that belongs to their own country,” she added.
Meanwhile, for Olivier of Lindigo, a band from Reunion Island, music is a gift from their ancestors which should be taken care of.
“It is a way of life and not a fashion thing in our culture. It is important to preserve the traditional music and pass it down to the younger generation to ensure that it will be kept alive even when we die,” he said.
Mathew Ngau Juk from Lan E Tuyang also pointed out that it was crucial to maintain the authenticity of traditional music.
“I feel that music has changec so much compared to my time. So, I would like to tell the world that if we want to hear the real tunes of our traditional instrument, the Sape, you can always hear it first from our band.”
Mathew also pointed out that music has the power to make one feel good while spreading the love of tradition.
“I formed the band because I want to sing and make people happy. When I go around the world, I make friends. I also wish to tell the world that our community exist and we have unique culture that we have to share it together.
“It is nice to be a part of the Rainforest World Music Festival because it gives us chance to showcase our music that exists from around the world and makes everyone happy,” he added.